With a triple-double in the first game and another stellar performance in the second, Draymond Green led the Michigan State Spartans to the Sweet 16 for the 10th time in the last 15 seasons. After rolling to a 22-point win in their first game, the Spartans edged Saint Louis with a late 3-pointer from Keith Appling to win 65-61.
But now the Spartans must get through the Big East Tournament champions, the Louisville Cardinals. Led by point guard Peyton Siva, Louisville avoided getting upset early by Davidson 69-62, then held off New Mexico for its sixth straight victory.
Will Louisville's run continue into the Elite Eight? Or will Tom Izzo have yet another chance to take his Spartans to another Final Four?
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|@ rushthecourt : Um, wow. Izzo's squad was completely undressed by Louisville's defense tonight.|
|@ RTCWestRegion : Sharpie it, man. MSU has been off as off is all night long.|
Nix gets a quick fast break dunk and now it's 57-44 LOUSVILLE. 27.8 seconds left and Izzo takes out Green. Magic Johnson and the MSU crowd stand up to give him a standing ovation. Green's mom has her head in her hands.
Kuric puts the dagger in MSU and nails a 3. LOUISVILLE UP 15. ARE THEY THE NEXT UCONN???
Russ Smith gets fouled and made one. 54-42 Louisville. This game appears to be over. 1:20 left.
This is strange. Louisville had the wrong guy at the line. Dieng wasn't supposed to shoot the free throws. Behanan was. They nullified the miss, to which Izzo flipped out. And Behanan makes both so it's 53-42 Louisville with 1:52 left.
|@ SethDavisHoops : Nobody in the Big Ten presses like Louisville. Spartans had no frame of reference. That plus Dieng blocks about to push Cards to Elite 8.|
Behanan misses the front end of the one and one but Michigan State turns the ball over right away.
Wood takes an unnecessary off-balanced 3-pointer from the corner and misses badly. Behanan gets fouled on the other end. 2:12 left.
Russ Smith gets an offensive rebound on the missed free throw and makes the put-back. 51-42 LOUISVILLE.
Appling gets fouled. Pitino is irate. Appling goes one of two from the line and a foul is called on Green on the defensive rebound.
"You don't need to foul right now.." - Reggie Miller.
49-42 LOUISVILLE. 2:38 left.
Russ Smith barley gets it across half court in time, passes it to Behanan for the dunk but he's fouled on the shot. Shooting two.
Russ Smith gets a steal off Green and then draws a foul on Green. Great defensive play. Leads to Bahanan's short jumper. 48-38 LOUISVILLE with 3 minutes left.
After Siva missed a 16-footer, Nix tried to make a post move but got his shot blocked by Dieng and then Nix picked up another foul.
Wood taking over for Michigan State now. Made a great hesitation move in the corner and drove baseline for the layup. 46-38 Louisville with 4:30 to go.
Siva calmly goes uses the screen and takes a long 2. But Brandon Wood comes up with a 3-pointer and now it's 46-36 Louisville. 5:30 to go in the game.
Dieng misses an ugly 12-footer but the ball goes right to Behanan and he makes the east 5-footer. 44-33 Louisville.
Green gets the ball wide open down low, goes up for the dunk and gets fouled on the miss. TV Timeout with under 8 to play. MSU down 11. Upset in the works..
|@ SethDavisHoops : Just when the Spartans make a push, the Cardinals have an answer. Chris Smith three, plus transition assist to Kuric puts em up 11.|
|@ SethDavisHoops : And Dieng has been a beast defensively. Sparty's in trouble.|
Dieng gets a huge block and Thornton of MSU gets called for a foul on a loose ball. Louisville has ALL the momentum now.
Siva drives through the lane with the shot clock winding down and finds Dieng for the easy bucket. Then Chris Smith adds a 3-pointer and Kuric makes an easy layup off a steal to extend the lead 42-31.
Siva misses a 3 and Green capitalized with a 3-pointer on the other end. He has 11 points and 12 rebounds already. 35-31 LOUISVILLE.
|@ RTCWestRegion : MSU has lost its composure in the last two minutes. Better be careful. In this game 10 pts is worth 20.|